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What are your rights to workers' compenstion in Maryland?

Do you know your rights under Maryland's workers' compensation laws? Although you may think that all on-the-job injuries should be covered by workers' compensation, special circumstances exist that may exclude you from eligibility. Knowing your rights as an employee or independent contractor can help you understand your potential workers' compensation benefits.

How do I know if I am covered?

It is important to note that injuries only cover employees, not independent contractors. A bona fide employee-employer relationship is required in order to pursue workers' compensation. That means that independent contractors, partnership workers and some sole proprietorship groups are not eligible for workers' compensation.

What about the nature of my injury?

Your injury must have arisen as a direct consequence from your employment. Compensable accident injuries must be caused by the conditions under which the work was required to be performed. Think about the possibility of slipping and falling on a wet work surface, for instance. Employers need to take care to protect their employees from unsafe conditions like slippery floors, even if the business operation is a car wash or water-based amusement park.

What happens if I'm injured and I'm not on the job?

You are not eligible for workers' compensation unless you are performing your job duties or doing something related to your job when you are injured. In other words, your injury must occur during the course of your employment.

What now?

If all of the previous conditions have been satisfied -- along with some others, depending on the nature of your claim -- you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Victims who have suffered on-the-job injuries deserve financial compensation for their workplace injury accidents. A workers' compensation advocate can be an essential ally as you fight to obtain your workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, "Maryland Workers' Compensation Law" Oct. 08, 2014

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